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Old 08-07-2019, 07:56 PM
Savage Sam Savage Sam is offline
 
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Default Hunting rifle calibre for youth.

Hello fellow outdoorsmen. My oldest son is turning 12 in October and is looking forward to hunting this year. I was introduced to hunting as a young adult so I don't have much experience hunting as a youth. I am looking for advice on a caliber that my 12 year old son can shoot that won't throttle him with recoil but will be suitable for several years that he can still shoot down the road. Any input would be helpful. I was thinking of a 7 mm-08 or a 25-06. Thoughts?
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:20 PM
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SageValleyOutdoors SageValleyOutdoors is offline
 
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I started both my boys at 12 years old with a .243

With that, one or the other has taken both species of deer, cougar and black bear.
Itís all about shot placement and working within the limits of the rifle. I wouldnít shoot at an elk at 350 yards with it, but deer and bear within 200 yards - put the bullet in the chest and itíll die every time.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:34 PM
yoteblaster yoteblaster is offline
 
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Both my boys started at age 12 with a 243 as well. Great choice for a first gun.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:38 PM
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My 12 yr old started with a 7mm08. Was a good shot with it, got his first deer with it.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:39 PM
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Default Hunting rifle caliber

Shot my first deer when I was 12 with a .243, 46 years ago.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:00 PM
Dubious Dubious is online now
 
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What ever you already own. Go out and get some reduced recoil rounds and have a day.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:22 PM
ram crazy ram crazy is offline
 
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I still own my first rifle, .243 win Winchester model 670a that rifle is a tack driver. I've used it on bear, deer, pronghorn, and elk. You can't go wrong with a .243win
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:29 PM
Desert Eagle Desert Eagle is offline
 
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I vote for the 25-06... I was in the same quandary with my wife years back as she is quite small. Started off with a 7mm-08 and it wasn't ideal.... made the switch to a 25-06 and it has been a game changer. She has taken elk out over 250 yards with a 100 grain quality bullet. Hopefully a moose and mule deer this year. She has never taken a moose and I'm pumped for her to get a chance at one.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:31 PM
Weebo Weebo is offline
 
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243
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2019, 09:46 PM
coyoteman coyoteman is offline
 
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Default Youth rifle

The 243 is a great mid range low recoil rifle--Haveing said that,the 6.5 CM is a long range,low recoil rifle.Excells on the target range,300-400m gong ringing comes fairly easy.The hard hitting 143 gr hunting bullet,will drop a deer in its tracks,at,what I would consider long range.With the young hunters,a good time,to learn how to hunt,waiting, watching,patience,persistace.No pot shotting--the value of shooting sticks.A humane kill.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteman View Post
The 243 is a great mid range low recoil rifle--Haveing said that,the 6.5 CM is a long range,low recoil rifle.Excells on the target range,300-400m gong ringing comes fairly easy.The hard hitting 143 gr hunting bullet,will drop a deer in its tracks,at,what I would consider long range.With the young hunters,a good time,to learn how to hunt,waiting, watching,patience,persistace.No pot shotting--the value of shooting sticks.A humane kill.
x2... but would throw the 7-08 back in along with the 260rem... if a reasonable 7x57 dropped in your lap then 'nuff said ... let us know where you go
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:42 PM
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Flatlandliver Flatlandliver is offline
 
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Any of the hunting calibers you suggest would work.
My kids started hunting big game with a .243 thatís been handed down a few times and the deer donít notice any difference from a 30 cal.

For practicing shooting though itís hard to beat a good single shot .22 and a field full of gophers or targets. Get all the safety and technique work done before the hunting starts.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:47 PM
JD848 JD848 is offline
 
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Depending on the make I would say there both good choices, i would probably go with the 25 06 and that will be plenty for all types of hunts.

Enjoy your time with your son, there not young forever.

Best of luck

JD
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:55 PM
coyoteman coyoteman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlandliver View Post
Any of the hunting calibers you suggest would work.
My kids started hunting big game with a .243 thatís been handed down a few times and the deer donít notice any difference from a 30 cal.

For practicing shooting though itís hard to beat a good single shot .22 and a field full of gophers or targets. Get all the safety and technique work done before the hunting starts.
You hit the nail right on the head--with the gopher shooting--Lots of targets,slow down--gun safety-aware of,shooting,pard livestock,houses,final possible bullet destination.Yes indeed the perfect place to start.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:59 PM
Oldan Grumpi Oldan Grumpi is offline
 
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You haven’t mentioned if you hand load. If you do, that broadens the possibilities greatly - it’s very easy to throttle back “.30-06 class” cartridges into low recoiling rounds.

If you’re using factory loads, the preceding recommendations are good. Don’t forget to make sure the rifle fits the user re: stock length, height of comb, positioning of the scope, etc. Even a minor calibers recoil will feel uncomfortable if the rifle doesn’t fit the shooter.

Does he like iron sights? If he does, something like a Model 38 Swede in 6.5x55 might fill the bill. If you want to go all out, a Remington Model 7 ‘youth’ might be appropriate. (Don’t count on selling it when he gets bigger though, once they’ve shot something with it, it’s theirs forever! I’ve learned that very expensive lesson!)
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:15 PM
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Way too many options. What’s the target species? For a 12 year old I’d look .243, .260, 6.5creedmoor, 6.5x55 Swede, 7mm08 ,7x57 even a good old 30/30 would fit the bill. Again target species could potentially eliminate some of those but for the most part they are all good for deer antelope and elk within reasonable ranges.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:37 PM
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My first "around the yard" plinker was a 22, my first real rifle was a 243 that my grandfather gave to me for my 12th birthday. I still have it.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2019, 06:49 PM
Highlander44 Highlander44 is offline
 
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Any short action cartridge will work well, I have 4 kids, and weíve used 6.5 Creedmoor Ďs, 7mm08ís, and .308 winís. All will work. Iíve personally found anything in a long action 30-06 based case is too much recoil (25-06, .270 win, etc)
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:08 PM
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:51 PM
Lefty Lefty is offline
 
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Buying now I would go the 6.5 route probably or the 308. There are reduced loads out there for the 308 and after a bit of shooting the regular ones work. Both my kids were started of with the 308. Girl did great with regular loads and the boy I used some reduced ones when it was his turn. The wife I started with a 25-06 with a heavy barrel, and then picked her up a 7-08. She found the 7-08 a lot more comfortable to shoot. Now that she has shot some she if fine shooting both and a light 270 wsm.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:33 AM
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One thing I havenít seen mentioned here is that a rifle that is sized to fit him comfortably at 12 will likely be too small for him at 16. I would suggest finding a youth sized rifle in a caliber that is suitable for the game he will be pursuing for the next few years and to plan changing it out when he gets bigger.

Rifle fit is probably a bigger factor in his felt recoil and enjoyment than the specific caliber would be. I started my son off with an X-Bolt Micro in 7-08 at 12. He is now 16 and is now 6 feet and 60 lbs heavier than he was. A full size rifle now fits him just fine and he has no issues carrying it all day.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamSteele View Post
One thing I havenít seen mentioned here is that a rifle that is sized to fit him comfortably at 12 will likely be too small for him at 16. I would suggest finding a youth sized rifle in a caliber that is suitable for the game he will be pursuing for the next few years and to plan changing it out when he gets bigger.

Rifle fit is probably a bigger factor in his felt recoil and enjoyment than the specific caliber would be. I started my son off with an X-Bolt Micro in 7-08 at 12. He is now 16 and is now 6 feet and 60 lbs heavier than he was. A full size rifle now fits him just fine and he has no issues carrying it all day.
Best response yet.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2019, 02:39 PM
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My 15 year old loves his 30-30 Henry.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:55 PM
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My Dad gave me his 303 Remington at age 12. Worked great for deer. I'm on the 243 bandwagon for your son. He will get larger bores etc. as he grows but will still use a 243 at times.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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6.5x55 or 7-08 are near perfect .......... as long as they fit. As others have said this is probably the single most important factor.
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  #26  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:20 PM
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I started my kid off with a .375 H&H. After 3 shots and his incessant whining I bought him a cheap 30-30 and kept the 375 for myself. Funny how things take care of themselves sometimes.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:34 PM
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For my son and daughter, I first bought a .243 in a savage youth model.
Sweet little rig, then son got older, went onto an 30-06, and now my daughter who's is 20, still uses it.

She's kinda a smaller gal, so fits her perfectly.

I have watched them take elk, moose and deer with that gun, tack driver.
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  #28  
Old 08-12-2019, 08:31 PM
honda610 honda610 is offline
 
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As stated. .243, 7-08, 260, 6.5x55 all will work well. Find a rifle that fits the youth. Fit is super important and lots of trigger time. Also practice exiting and entering vehicles with the rifle. As well as field scenarios on how to carry while in the great outdoors. Some people think it should be common sense. But until a youth is taught it's all new to them. Good luck
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  #29  
Old 08-12-2019, 10:03 PM
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There are a lot of Swedish rifles out there for cheap. A 6.5x55 from Frontier or Tradex might fit your needs. Otherwise .243 dominates youth rifles...easy to sell in few years.
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  #30  
Old 08-13-2019, 05:09 AM
Xbolt7mm Xbolt7mm is offline
 
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Do a lot of your own research based on statistics and facts about your own son and the cartridges you are interested in, completely disregard statements like ďa deer doesn't know the difference between a 30 caliber and a 243Ē this person doesn't know that!! Or the ole ď243 etc will kill anything in North America with a well placed shot and a well made bulletĒ what kind of a statement is that? A .22 will do that. What if its not a well placed shot, that happens, would a different cartridge choice improve animal harvest? Only you can make that choice. It only matters to you what ethical values you instil in a young hunter and that needs to be measured against what recoil can be handled by him. Involve him in the research. Vague statements like mentioned above are nothing more than blowing smoke for justification through conjecture. BTW, i would look at a 30-30 with a great recoil pad. Iím sure a young man wont shoot past that cartridges capability and when he does and moves in a different direction, heck everyone needs a 30-30 in the safe.
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